Deliberate damage dilemma
Question from Stephen updated on 23rd January 2015:
We rented out our house in Kerikeri through a property manager. The tenant damaged the property, some intentional and some accidental. The value to repair is about $16,000. We took the tenant to the Disputes Tribunal but the case was thrown out due to the agent loosing the inspection report from the start of the tenancy. The judge could not see the start condition. My insurance company paid for some but with a $500 access on each claim. My original insurance company had been brought out by a bigger insurance company and the new insurer would not pay intentional damage (the original insurer would have). Now I'm out of pocket. My agent misplaced paperwork and failed on final inspections. I am unable to approach the Tenancy Tribunal with no initial inspection report. Where do I go from here?
Our expert Leanne MacKenzie responded:
Intentional damage is often completely excluded from insurance policies for rental properties although a few companies do offer cover for additional premium.
Claims for intentional damage through either your insurance policy or the Tenancy Tribunal (if uninsured), will require the inspection report to be supplied as this is the only way of establishing the condition of the property prior to the damage. Unfortunately your property manager has let you down badly in this area.
Furthermore the Real Estate Agents Authority does not deal with disputes regarding property management, unless the property manager is a licensed real estate agent and the behavior could be construed as misconduct. Your only possible answer will most likely be to approach the rental agent or company directly.